Our world today is dominated by technology and electronics. Companies are now competing to release the next greatest product that will make our lives easier and are constantly outdoing the last product. This constant innovation and development of new products have created a vicious cycle of generating obsolete waste.
Not only are our landfills filling up with decomposable trash and recyclable items, now it is filling up with electronic waste (e-waste) that poses an even more significant threat to nature. However, with a concentrated and honest effort, there are several ways that we can reduce the amount of e-waste that ends up being thrown away.
Electronics that wear out, break or become obsolete thanks to newer products have become a serious problem because the easy answer is to just dispose of it like normal garbage. Some examples include cell phones, TV’s, computers, printers, phones, refrigerators and other appliances.
These electronics are often thrown away with normal trash for a variety of reasons, but most electronics can be handled in a different way. The hardest type of products to recycle are ones with cathode ray tubes (CRTs) displays, and this is due to their extremely high concentrations of lead and phosphors. CRTs are necessary for display monitors, which can be found in old TVs, computer monitors and more.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) includes discarded CRT monitors in its “hazardous household waste” category. Similarly to CRT displays, LCD and plasma (newer technology) display screens are dangerous as well. While no landfill item is completely harmless to the environment, e-waste poses an imminent threat due to the toxic chemicals and materials that they often contain.
As e-waste breaks down over time, it ultimately ends up polluting the water table that impacts ecosystems, drinking water, and our planet. Electronics of all types contain numerous hazardous metals and materials that make their way into the ecosystems around the world when they end up being thrown away in landfills.
Arsenic, lead, and polybrominated flame retardants are just a few of the common materials that are found in electronics that are toxic to living things. With over 40 million tons of electronic waste thrown away each year, the time to act is now.
Here are some easy tips on how to reduce e-waste:
- Donate or sell– instead of immediately throwing out electronics that still work, post them online or find programs that accept donations. Repurposing old electronics is a great way to keep them out of the landfills and to let those who need them have them.
- Retailer recycling– more and more retailers and companies have incentives for customers to bring in their old and outdated models of electronics.
- Research e-waste recycling center locations– most states run recycling centers or collection drives for residents to bring in their old electronics to be recycled.
- Know laws regarding battery disposal– knowing the laws in your state regarding battery and electronic disposal are crucial. It can be illegal to throw away certain types of batteries and electronics due to the materials that they contain.
- Energy Star rated appliances– the EPA offers a special program that offers rebates for those consumers that recycle their old appliances and purchase new, energy-star rated appliances.
- Extend the life of your electronics– by taking proper care of your electronics, you can easily extend the useable life of them. If everyone just reduces the number of products that they go through and dispose of just a fraction, the amount of e-waste can be reduced greatly.
At Consolidated Resources, Inc., we strive to offer our customers the very best and most comprehensive recycling solutions for businesses of Arizona. We efficiently handle everything from storage needs to scheduled pickup to make recycling as easy as possible for your business.
To learn more about how we can be your business’s single-source solution for all your recycling needs, contact us today.